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September 30, 2023

Why Is My AC Compressor Overheating and Shutting Off?

Call our trusted HVAC business at (317) 754-8511 for AC services!

An air conditioner consists of multiple moving parts and internal systems that help keep your home or business at comfortable temperatures. However, an overheated compressor is a common issue many property owners experience, leading them to ask, “Why is my AC compressor overheating and shutting off?” 

In this complete guide, we’ll go over some of the most common reasons your air compressor could overheat and turn off your system. You can learn about potential explanations for why this is happening to you, along with some key troubleshooting tips. 

Keep reading to learn more, then contact Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing for air conditioner repair in Avon, IN, and the nearby areas.

1. You Have a Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioning system needs an appropriate amount of refrigerant to successfully complete the cooling process. It uses refrigerant in a cyclic manner, meaning that it’s not typical to have less of it. If you notice your air conditioner has less refrigerant, you might have a leak.

When you call a local professional, they will:

  • See if your AC has a leak and identify its source
  • Remove the current amount of refrigerant
  • Repair the leak, then add new refrigerant
  • Test that your air conditioner now works properly

You should never simply add more refrigerant to your air conditioner without resolving the leak. You’ll end up wasting time and money.

2. The Compressor Doesn't Have Enough Ventilation

Does your air compressor have enough ventilation? If not, the system may overheat and turn off unexpectedly. The unit needs some space and can’t function properly when it’s trapped in a tight and overly hot area. 

You may need to change the location of your compressor or give it some more space wherever it is in the room. Ventilation is key for your compressor and prevents it from getting too hot.

3. There's Too Much Discharge Pressure

Your compressor might have excessive discharge pressure because of blocked condenser air, poor-fitting connections, a too-small condenser, or a faulty condenser fan. It’s hard to know for certain what’s causing the pressure problems, so contacting an HVAC technician is your best bet.

4. The Condenser Coils Are Dirty

If you’re wondering, “Why is my AC compressor overheating and shutting off?” consider the cleanliness of your condenser coils, as dirty coils add insulation, trap warm air, and cause the system to overheat. If you schedule routine maintenance services, one of the tasks your technician will complete is AC condenser coil cleaning.

You can choose between cleaning the coils yourself with a spray solution or calling a local professional. Either way, you’ll need clean coils to address the high humidity and warmth in your home. 

5. Your AC Has Extended Wear

If you live in a hot climate and use your air conditioner non-stop, it’s not shocking that your compressor is overheating. The excessive wear puts a lot of strain on your cooling system, including the compressor. When your compressor is worn down, you’ll either need a replacement or consider investing in an air conditioner that can better meet your cooling needs.

6. You Need to Replace Your Air Filters

Similar to condenser coils, dirty and clogged air filters can limit an air conditioner’s airflow and cause the compressor to get too hot. You’ll experience blockages in your duct system, and cool air can’t reach its target destination. Replacing and cleaning your air filters each month is ideal for avoiding this problem in the future.

7. You Have Old or Broken AC Parts

Just like any other area of your air conditioner, your air compressor parts can get old and break after some time. You’ll need to replace them to help your compressor operate properly. If you have multiple problems with your compressor and it’s nearing the end of its lifespan, decide whether replacing old parts or getting a new compressor is the better option.

8. The Compressor Resides in a Warm Room

Think about your AC compressor’s location and how it may affect its performance. Compressors that are in a hot and stuffy room are more likely to overheat and have a harder time repelling extreme temperatures. You can ask your air conditioning technician what to do about having your compressor in a bad location and if relocation is possible.

9. The Compressor Has Poor Suction Pressure

When your air conditioner compressor has low suction pressure, your machine can get too hot and shut off as a precaution. Some reasons for this pressure problem are:

  • Blocked strainers
  • Change to the pressure
  • A decreased amount of refrigerant

You might also have loose connections that are causing poor suction pressure.

10. You Have the Wrong Size or Compressor Capacity for Your Needs

Many types of air conditioners are available to meet today’s cooling demands. If you’ve had your HVAC system for a long time, your current AC compressor may need an upgrade to better handle your home’s cooling requirements. A small compressor is going to work extra hard to reach cool and comfortable temperatures for your property, causing it to overheat and wear down.

It never hurts to schedule an air conditioning service appointment to see if you have a good system. Years of wear and constant demands take a toll on your AC compressor and the entire system, so it’s essential to choose the right size and capacity the first time around.

Address Your AC Compressor Problems With Our Business in Greenwood, Indiana

Why is my AC compressor overheating and shutting off? Our team has answered this question and also covers many other popular HVAC topics on our blog, such as air conditioner watt usage and more. We serve our clients in Greenwood, Indiana, and many other surrounding communities.

Contact Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing to schedule a service appointment for your air conditioning system. Let us ensure your AC operates with a normal cooling cycle. We provide air conditioner installation, maintenance, and repair services and can help you immediately.

Call us now at (317) 754-8511 to book!